Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
The love for baking and fond memories of her Oma Doris from Stuttgart made Alina Tompert launch Zimt Bakery in 2020 during the pandemic. Growing up in California she happily joined her mom in the yearly family tradition of backing “Plätzchen” during Christmas season from an early age on. However, she was particularly impressed by the package of Christmas Cookies that her Oma Doris sent from Germany each year for the holidays. It contained an assortment of about 20 beautiful, unique, lovingly crafted “Guadsle” (the Swabian expression for cookies).
After her grandma’s passing, Alina turned to baking from the recipes that she inherited from Oma Doris: “I am thrilled to present the lineup of Zimt Guadsle for the traditional holiday baking, and my own mash-up of modern flavors in our seasonal line up of Plätzchen”.
Zimt Bakery specializes in Plätzchen and Guadsle, the former being Zimt’s modern seasonal take and the latter being Zimt’s traditional holiday cookies rooted in Oma Doris’ recipes. Over the holidays, Zimt Bakery will offer also homemade Lebkuchen Hearts which are customizable with a name or message. And even our furry friends can join in the delight of freshly baked cookies. Zimt Bakery also makes Plätzchen for Paws![Read more…] about Zimt Bakery ships Christmas Plätzchen in California
Christmas Rum Cake
This is the recipe for a delicious rum cake that our CaliforniaGermans contributor Merrill grew up with. It’s a treasured recipe from his mother, who used to make many smaller cakes from this recipe instead of one big one. It stayed a tradition for him and his family and every holiday season they are the delight of everyone in his family.
LIST OF INGREDIENTS:
|1.||1/2 Pound||Cake Flour|
|4.||5 Eggs||Separate the yolks from the egg white|
|5.||1/2 Cup||Evaporated milk|
|6.||2 Tea Spoon||Baking Powder|
|7.||1 Tea Spoon||Vanilla|
|8.||1/8 Tea Spoon||Salt|
|9.||3 Table Spoon||Burned Sugar (see procedure)|
|10.||3 Table Spoon||Raisins and cut Prunes soaked in Rum for several weeks|
|11.||1/3 Cup||Chopped Walnuts|
|12.||1/4 Cup||Red Cherries cut into Halves|
|13.||1/4 Cup||Green Cherries cut into Halves|
|14.||1/3 Cup||Dark Beer|
|15.||1/8 Tea Spoon||Grinded Nutmeg|
|16.||2 Table Spoon||Orange Juice|
|17.||1 Orange Skin||Grated orange peel|
STEP #1: Burn the 3 tablespoons sugar to a dark syrup then add 1 tablespoon of water, keep to a thick consistency. Let it cool down.
STEP #2: Mix butter with sugar, add dark syrup from STEP #1, grated orange peel, vanilla, nutmeg, orange juice. Add egg yolks one at a time. Add evaporated milk little by little.
STEP #3: Strain flour, baking powder, and salt together in separate bowl and add to the batter.
STEP #4: Add the cherries, prunes, chopped walnuts.
STEP #5: Whip the egg white apart and add to the batter at low speed. Add the dark beer.
STEP #6: Pour into a buttered 9-inch mold.
STEP #7: Bake at 350 ° F for around one hour
As a recent retiree, Merrill Lyew Emanuel now has time for his old and new hobbies. Within his hobbies are writing fan fiction in German, solving chess puzzles, repairing things at home that are not broken, doing a little bit of social media, reading every and anything that looks like a book, traveling a little, and taking snapshots with his mirrorless camera.
Having lived in Germany, Costa Rica and the USA, he is fluent in the languages of these countries. As a professional geographer he traveled profusely throughout Latin America. He is living in Southern California for over thirty years. Find more of his work at http://www.merrillius.net
Have you started your Christmas Bakery yet? If not, here is a great recipe to delight your family and friends with some German Hazelnut Macaroons. They are easy to make and taste heavenly delicious !
(Recipe by our guest author Gabriele Utz)
German Christmas cookies Hazelnut Macaroons (in German Haselnussmakronen) is a classic German recipe for the Holiday season and for Christmas. Germany is known for its unique and delicious Christmas Bakery. If you have not made any German Christmas cookies before, this is a good starter cookie as it is very easy to make. Happy Baking!
Ingredients German Christmas Cookies
4 egg white
200 g sugar
200 g ground hazelnuts or hazelnut flour
hazelnuts cut in half for decoration
1 hint of cinnamon
2 tbsp flour for dusting
30 wafers( very thin round piece of unleavened bread) Purchase the wafers online
Baking Instructions German Christmas Cookies
– Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
– Beat egg white with pinch of salt very firm (so firm that if you cut it with the knife you would see the cut!)
– Add sugar; sieve it over the firm egg white and carefully mix it.
– Then add the hazelnuts and cinnamon and mix it carefully. If you cannot get ground hazelnuts or hazelnut flour, you can use a coffee grinder to grind them.
– Dust a baking tray with flour.
– Place on each wafer with 2 teaspoons a small amount of hazelnut batter and place in the middle one half of a hazelnut.
– Bake them for 10-15 minutes depending on the oven. Check frequently, you don’t want the wafers become brown.
If you want you can bake them without the wafers too. Instead using wafers for the bottom you can use melted chocolate and dip the bottoms of the baked macaroons in it briefly.
Article Source: MyBestGermanRecipes.com
The First Advent Sunday is today and Christmas season has officially started. Traditionally the four weeks of Advent are represented by four candles on an Advent wreath. The first one will get lit today and then it’s only four more weeks until Christmas eve is here!
Christmas cookies are a must for this festive holiday season. So we thought of starting you out with a scrumptious recipe for traditional “Peffernüsse” by our guest author Gabriele Utz of MyBestGermanRecipes. She will share with us one of her favorite recipes on each of the four Advent Sundays plus a special one for New Year‘s Eve. Give it a try and fill your home with the sweet scents of gingerbread spices!
Happy First of Advent!
This is an authentic German Pfeffernusse recipe as you would find in Germany. German Pfeffernusse are traditional Christmas cookies and very popular. You can find them in any bakery or supermarket in Germany. Get some German tradition into your home with this recipe. The ingredient Hirschhornsalz, in English Hartshorn or Ammonium Carbonate, is a traditional Gingerbread (Lebkuchen) ingredient since hundreds of years and was originally taken from deer’s antlers. It makes the dough raise but not in height, it makes it wider. Happy Baking!
Ingredients (20 pieces) German Pfeffernusse
50 g sugar
2 tbsp butter
250 g flour (whole grain if you like)
1/2 tsp Hirschhornsalz (Ammonium Carbonate) – Find here the German original or an American product:
Ammonium Carbonate (Baker’s Ammonia) 2.7 oz
2 tsp ginger bread spice – Edora Lebkuchen Gewurz (Gingerbread Spices) 1 – .05oz Package
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 pinch salt
125 g powdered sugar
1 tbsp rum
Baking Instructions German Pfeffernusse
– Heat butter, honey and sugar and melt it.
– Mix flour, egg, Hirschhornsalz and spices, add honey dough and knead it thoroughly with knead hooks.
– Form balls out of the dough and bake them on 190 C or 375 F for 12 minutes; bake the next portion only for 10 minutes.
– Make the glaze out of powdered sugar and rum and a bit of water.
– Spread glaze over the cooled off cookies and let them dry.
– Keep them at least 2 days in a tin box with a piece of bread or a piece of apple, so they get soft.
If you like you can make a dark chocolate glaze and spread it on half of the cookies, and have the other half white.
Christmas Season officially starts on the First Advent in Germany. Since this year that day is actually on December 2nd, children will also have already opened their second door on their Advent Calendars, a beloved holiday tradition that marks down the days to the highly anticipated Christmas Eve (Heiligabend).
The First Advent, when in November, often marks also the first day of the Christmas Markets (Christkindlmarkt) which are then open until December 24, the ‘Heiligabend’. For the next few weeks visitors will enjoy hot and scented Gluehwein, warm roasted chestnuts and all kinds of Lebkuchen (a variety of Gingerbreads ) while listening to festive Advent music and walking along little booths selling a great variety of Christmas decorations, the real attraction for young and old. Beautifully handcrafted wooden manger scenes (Holzkrippen) are usually also on display at bigger Christkindl Markets, and Saint Nikolaus is walking the streets to great little children.
To ring in the holidays for everyone here in California, and fill your home with the delicious fragrance of freshly baked Christmas cookies, we have invited guest author Gabriele Utz, founder of MyBestGermanRecipe.com, to share some of her favorite German holiday recipes with us.
Gabriele, born and raised in Germany, lives with her family in Los Angeles and has always been interested in cooking and baking. After her move to L.A. she thoroughly missed German food, and thinking that other fellow ex-pats might feel the same, she founded MyBestGermanRecipes.com in 2010. The website has now more then 300 original recipes for German food lovers!
Look out for a new holiday recipe on each Advent Sunday. A special “Silvester Rezept” will await you for New Year’s eve!
Some German Christmas events around California are happening tomorrow (December 1st) to welcome the holiday season. Check out our Event Calendar for location and time.
Have a wonderful Holiday Season !
Thanksgiving in the USA is not only a national holiday that commemorates the first ‘Thanksgiving’ ever celebrated in America by the Pilgrims, but also a most loved holiday for families all over the United State to reunite, come together and share a festive meal together. Often several generations of a family meet up in the kitchen and prepare the traditional turkey feast together.
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and traditionally marks also the start of Christmas shopping.
While we have a similar day in Germany, called ‘Erntedankfest’ , it doesn’t have the festive character it has here in the USA. It is also not a national holiday and while the church suggests to observe the day on the first Sunday in October, it is not an official church holiday either. Outside the bigger cities in smaller towns and villages it is usually custom that a procession follows a special ‘Erntedank’ church service that celebrates the rich harvest of the year.
History of Thanksgiving (video clip)
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